Take picturesque outdoor photos with Santa this holiday season at A Frosty Fest. Photo courtesy of the Fest
Take picturesque outdoor photos with Santa this holiday season at A Frosty Fest. Photo courtesy of the Fest

Safe, In-Person Santa Visits in Westchester and the Hudson Valley in 2020

For those who celebrate Christmas, the holiday season is hardly complete without a trip to visit Santa. In 2020, whispering in Santa’s ear is generally not feasible, but we've rounded up 14 safe Santa visits for the season.

From traditional mall photo ops to drive-thru and walkthrough Santa sightings, we've found many fun ways to meet the man in red. Even more options are available to meet Santa online.

For more holiday fun, check out our Holiday Fun Guide, especially our list of must-do holiday experiences for Westchester kids.

Editor's note: While we are trying to promote safer activities that occur outdoors or with social distancing guidelines in place, please keep your family and others safe by always wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. If you arrive at an event that appears too crowded, try using the “nearby” search feature on our Event Calendar to find something else to do.

Santa visits the bethel woods holiday market
Santa stops by the Bethel Woods Holiday Market on Saturdays. Photo courtesy of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

Local Events Where You Can See Santa

Peace, Love & Lights Dinner with Santa – Bethel

Multiple dates in December
When reserving your drive-thru experience, tack on a reservation for dinner with Santa—but don’t delay, as some sittings have already sold out. On Saturdays, a special holiday market at Bethel Woods also includes an outdoor visit with Santa.

 

Holidays on the Hill Train Show – Somers

Thursdays-Sundays through December 20; daily from December 26-31
Combine your Santa visit with a holiday train show at this popular annual event in Lasdon Park.

Come See Santa – Scarsdale

Friday, December 11
Reserve your FREE meeting with Santa at this event sponsored by the Child Care Council of Westchester—donate an unused toy for those less fortunate to receive a digital picture with St. Nick.

Christmas in the Village – Monroe

Saturday, December 12-Sunday, December 13
This multi-faceted event includes a stop at the playhouse to meet not only Santa but also Mrs. Claus and the elves.

Polar Express and Christmas Trains – Multiple Locations

Dates Vary
All aboard one of these local holiday train rides for a festive way to meet the man with the bag.

RELATED: Where to Cut Your Own Christmas Tree in Westchester and the Hudson Valley


Give a Christmas greeting to Santa at Westchester's Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Extravaganza at Kensico Dam Plaza. Photo by Susan Miele

Holiday Drive-Thrus and Walkthroughs Where You Can Spot Santa

 

Winter Wonderland Drive-Thru Experience – Valhalla

Daily through Sunday, January 3 (excluding December 7, 14, 24, 25)
Though a fleeting moment, families pass a waving Santa and other costumed characters along the 1.2-mile drive-thru experience, which also features elaborate light displays. Read our full review of the experience here.

Frosty Fest – Ulster Park

Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through December 27
In addition to a large-scale spectacle of attractions, this annual event affords the opportunity to meet Santa outdoors. This is just one of many festive aspects of this holiday extravaganza. New this year: Meet the Forest Snowman and Bubbles the Christmas Bear.

Catskill Mountain Christmas Train – Kingston

Saturdays and Sundays through December 20
Take a ride to the North Pole on an open-air flatcar with a cup of hot cocoa to help keep warm. Along the way, wave to Santa and his elves as they say hello from the platform.

Candy Cane Run with Santa – Yorktown Heights

Saturday, December 12
Decorate your vehicle for the holidays and line up for the holiday car parade, where children encounter Santa at the end and receive a candy cane.

RELATED: Must-Do Holiday Experiences for Westchester Kids


Santa and his elves make appearances in his workshop at the Cross County Shopping Center. Photo courtesy of the Center

Santa Experiences at the Mall

Photos With Santa at Cross County Shopping Center – Yonkers

Daily through Thursday, December 24
The outdoor mall has set up Santa’s Workshop in a vacant store, where families can enter to watch Santa tinker away to get ready for his big night. Round out your visit to the mall by stopping for a photo op at the walkthrough Christmas tree or take a spin around the pop-up outdoor ice rink. Face coverings are required.

Santa Photo Experience at The Westchester Mall – White Plains

Daily through Thursday, December 24 (closed Monday, December 7)
Santa welcomes visitors at the Westchester Mall with safety measures in place. Santa, his helpers, and all visitors are required to wear masks. Reservations are strongly encouraged. Visitors can also get a bird’s-eye view of Santa from the floors above. Santa is located on Retail Level 1, Center Court.

Photos with Santa at Jefferson Valley Mall – Yorktown Heights

Daily through Thursday, December 24
Santa and his team visit the Jefferson Valley Mall in Yorktown Heights. Children are encouraged to bring their letters to Santa to deposit in his mailbox. Assorted photo packages are available for a fee. Face masks are required, and reservations are encouraged.

Santa Visits and Photos at Ridge Hill – Yonkers

Daily through Thursday, December 24
Choose your photo package to partake in this contact-free Santa encounter. Mask-wearing and social-distancing policies are in effect for all children ages 2 and older. Reservations are encouraged.

Santa Photos at Palisades Center – West Nyack

Wednesday, December 9 through Thursday, December 24
Reserve your child’s spot for a socially distant visit with Santa. Masks are required. Choose from multiple photo packages. Virtual options are also available. Enjoy the same experience at the Poughkeepsie Galleria.

This post was originally published in 2014 and has been updated for 2020.


The Westchester Mall
125 Westchester Avenue
White Plains, NY

Cross County Shopping Center
8000 Mall Walk
Yonkers, NY

Poughkeepsie Galleria
2001 South Road
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Jefferson Valley Mall
650 Lee Boulevard
Yorktown Heights, NY

Westchester's Ridge Hill
1 Ridge Hill Boulevard
Yonkers, NY

Kensico Dam Plaza
1 Bronx River Parkway
Valhalla, NY

Palisades Center
1000 Palisades Center Dr
West Nyack, NY

Lasdon Park & Arboretum
2610 Amawalk Rd (Rte 35)
Katonah, NY 10536

Museum Village
1010 State Route 17M
Monroe, NY 10950

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
200 Hurd Road
Bethel , NY 12720

Child Care Council of Westchester
313 Central Park Avenue
Scarsdale, NY 10583

Catskill Mountain Railroad
Westbrook Lane Station in the Kingston Plaza
Kingston, NY 12401

Headless Horseman Hayrides
778 Broadway
Ulster Park, NY 12487
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